Broome, Western Australia and its romantic allure of exotic isolated sunset beaches has been calling to us forever. Popular with a wide range of travellers, it is possible to come to this notoriously expensive destination on a shoestring… but this is Broome to blow the budget.
I’ve wanted to go to Broome since I first landed in Perth, Western Australia in 2000. I never quite made it. It was just too far and too expensive to get there.
Mrs Romance has had the same problem. She tried to get to Broome when she was a teenager but flights from Sydney to Broome were more expensive than return airfares to Paris.
On this occasion, Europe won.
We have finally made it to Broome though. And the wait was well worth it.
We found Broome to be expensive, I’m not going to try and hide that fact. The mining industry, Broome’s isolation and distances to freight goods and materials make this one of Australia’s most expensive tourist destinations.
If you’re worried about Broome’s prices, don’t be; here’s our post on Broome on a budget.
However, if you’re looking for somewhere in Broome to treat yourself, here is Broome to blow the budget:
Where to stay
Top of the bill
There are some amazing resorts and spas in Broome. Currently the most expensive is The Pearle. This resort is right on Cable Beach, one of Australia’s most iconic beaches and The Pearle fits in nicely.
Alternatively, the Bali Hai Resort and Spa offers amazing levels of luxury, proximity (but not quite as close as The Pearle) to Cable Beach and an impressively authentic Balinese aesthetic.
At one point I had to stop and think if it was ok to drink the water from the tap here. Not in Bali, dingus!
Where to eat
Pub fare with a flair
Matso’s Brewery is somewhere everyone should visit regardless of their budget – even if it’s just to have a quick beer and explore the country’s most isolated craft brewery.
If you’re hungry, this place has some great pub-style options with a bit of flair.
A taste of Bali and beyond
For a real range of cuisine in a setting that suits your tropical location, the Bali Hai Café is a great option. Part of the Bali Hai Resort, this little courtyard eatery has everything from southeast Asian to modern Australian and steak options.
There’s also a very reasonably priced pizza menu if you’re looking for cheaper options.
If you’re looking for somewhere in Broome town proper, check out Azuki Japanese Fusion. A hangover from the Japanese pearler population, this place has an authentic Japanese menu and décor.
About an hour south of Broome, Jack’s Bar and Restaurant has an impressive menu of architecturally amazing dishes and amazing views of the Kimberley coastline.
You can also stay here – but be warned, this all comes at a cost.
Dine at the beach
Cable Beach bars and restaurants are also great options if you want to dine with the best views of the famous sunsets.
You can tell that the venues here are preying on their location though. The service and queues at the bar as the sun goes down can be horrendous. And neither the quality nor the range seems to match the prices.
Touring and travelling
With the stunning Kimberley Region as its front porch, there’s so much to do in and around Broome. And there’s a lot of history in this little town too.
Visit Willie Creek pearl farm and go for a chopper ride. Just out of town, Willie Creek Pearls have some amazing pieces of jewellery and pearls.
But it’s the helicopter ride and boat tour that drew us in. The views of the area from the air are just amazing.
Being so close to the Kimberley and the Top End, you’d be crazy not to get out and explore. There are so many tour options going from Broome. Check out some of these tours as a starting place.
See the Bungle Bungles up high and down low
The unusual Bungle Bungles Range was only discovered by westerners in the 1980s and is one of the big draw cards of the Kimberley.
If you don’t have time to tour the Kimberley properly, you can fly from Broome to the Bungles, land explore on foot too. Check out this amazing tour via Mr Aristotle.
Sunset camel ride
One of the iconic things to do in Broome is to take a stroll from the back of the camel and see the sun dip below the horizon of the Indian Ocean.
Make sure you book early though. The sunset spots go fast. We missed out but the Red Sun Camel company is said to be the best.
See more of the Kimberley from the air and on foot
This scenic flight and exploration of some key points of the Kimberley will give you a feel of what this ancient landscape has to offer.
Nat Geo expedition up to Darwin
If you really want to see the Kimberley from a unique perspective, this oceanic expedition is the way.
Onboard a National Geographic ship, you sail from Broome all the way up to Darwin in the Northern Territory. In the 12 nights you’re at sea you get to stop in every day at a different location along the stunning Kimberley coast and explore the area on foot, by air and by sea.
The things you learn from the naturalists in the crew are absolutely amazing and the feeling of exploring the area from the edge of your Zodiac tender is like nothing else.
Find out more about the National Geographic voyages here.
If you’re flying from Sydney to Broome, the most logical way to travel is Sydney-Perth, Perth-Broome. Instead try Sydney-Brisbane, Brisbane-Broome. Flying times are the same – maybe even shorter – and prices are often lower.
The wealth of things you can do and see in Broome is quite surprising. For such a small place that’s this isolated, we were busy with so many one-of-a-kind experiences while we were here.
If you want some tips for some more budget options for visiting Broome to mix it up, check out our post on Broome on a budget.